Searching for Authenticity: Mario Batali

Publishers Weekly
November 2, 2016

I’m waiting for Mario Batali at the bar at Otto Enoteca e Pizzeria—the more family friendly and casual of his restaurants. The bartender, Dennis, a bearded man with a shaved head and reading glasses, is accommodating without being effusive as he serves me a caffe macchiato. It’s two p.m. on a Monday; the restaurant is quiet and the wait staff is busy cleaning in preparation for the dinner rush.

Batali arrives wearing salmon cargo shorts, an orange-and-white striped button-down shirt, and his trademark orange crocs.

In Bars and in Books, American Whiskey Is on the Rise

Publishers Weekly
April 7, 2014

“I’m for anything that gets you through the night – be it prayer, tranquilizers, or a bottle of Jack Daniel’s,” said the great American singer Frank Sinatra about one of the great American whiskeys. Or so say the ads on Jack Daniel’s new line of whiskey, Sinatra Select.

And just as the American whiskey industry seems to be collectively tapping into nostalgia, and bourbon sales continue to rise, publishers are stepping in to help guide and inform consumers.

Simply Red

The New York Times
August 10, 2003

To me, nothing is more comforting than a glass of Montepulciano and a bowl of spaghetti and meatballs. At the end of the workweek, I like to relax, to eat with friends at a place that feels like home, one where I will be greeted by the maitre d', who, although he doesn't know me, will treat me as if he does.

And for someone like me, an Italian-American in his 30's who grew up with Italian food as the ultimate comfort food, the old-style Italian restaurants offer service and food that, while not innovative, always satisfies. In the old-fashioned Italian restaurants, what many call red sauce restaurants, I know I'll get Old World treatment -- if not old Italy, then definitely old New York.

QUICK BITE/Jersey City; A Comforting Quilt of Breads

The New York Times
March 27, 2005

Bite into an ensaymada -- a fist-size brioche, smeared with butter and sprinkled with sugar -- and you will have sampled a staff of Philippine life. The ensaymada is served as breakfast, as snack, or even at weddings -- and it's not even considered a dessert.

In the Philippines, the influence of four centuries of Spanish rule can be tasted in a blend of the flavors of Spain, China and the tropics.